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For parents

What is the Musckuloskeletal Outpatient Service?

The specialist paediatric physiotherapists in the musculoskeletal (MSK) service work with patients with a variety of injuries and conditions to maximise their rehabilitation and recovery. Conditions commonly seen include:

  • Soft tissue injuries - injuries such as muscle and ligament strains or bruising plus growth related problems
  • Post traumatic bony injuries or surgery
  • Sports injuries - often overuse injuries
  • Altered gait through a childs development

We accept referrals from GP's, consultants and other AHP's and see patients from 0-16 years old. Where possible we endeavour to treat your child within your local service. Please be aware that we are a specialist centre so you may be asked to be seen here.

We work closely with consultants, nurses and other health professionals in a variety of teams to get the best care for our patients.

What might physiotherapy involve?

Patients will be seen by an experienced physiotherapist who will go through an in depth assessment to get all the information required about the presenting condition. From this a treatment plan, utilising techniques outlined below, will be formulated and discussed with you and your child.

At Bristol Children's Hospital we are able to treat our MSK patients in a variety of child friendly settings. We can see patients in our gym area, consultation rooms or hydrotherapy pool.

The physiotherapists at Bristol Children's Hospital use a range of techniques including:

  • Education- it is important that you and your child understand what is causing the problems and how you can best help yourself to manage it
  • Advice- many conditions may not require treatment but advice on how to manage symptoms
  • Exercise rehabilitation- this is usually carried out in our gym or consultation rooms to resolve muscle weakness, balance problems or muscle restrictions
  • Home exercises- you may be given exercises to do with your child at home to continue the work carried out in your appointment
  • Hydrotherapy- rehabilitation in the hydrotherapy pool  is often used if your child's symptoms are easily aggravated by land exercises
  • Soft tissue techniques- this includes massage or joint movements
  • Taping- hard or elastic tape to alter function
  • Acupuncture/acupressure- a form of pain control through very small needle or simply adding pressure to certain points in the body

We will require your child to undress to an appropriate level to carry out a complete assessment. We recommend that your child brings appropriate clothing. If there is a problem with their upper limbs or spine then a vest top is recommended or shorts for a lower limb problem.

Here are some resources you may find useful

Intoeing Gait

Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Flat Feet in Young Children

Choosing the right school bag

Symptomatic Hypermobility

Physiotherapy Contact

  • Petre Grove / Jo Walton - 0117 342 8525